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Monday, May 15, 2006

The purpose of the Detail is to help keep you informed of the current state of affairs in the latent print community, to provide an avenue to circulate original fingerprint-related articles, and to announce important events as they happen in our field.
Breaking NEWz you can UzE...
compiled by Jon Stimac

Fingerprints Confirm Bogus Britain is Missing Florida Man ABC7CHICAGO.COM - May 9, 2006 ...bogus identity as an English nobleman is actually a missing American...

Approval of Funds to Update Fingerprint Data   MIDLAND REPORTER-TELEGRAM, TX - May 9, 2006 to hire a part-time worker and equipment to scan a backlog of fingerprint records...

Morphing of Digital Fingerprint Tests Startles Contractors  WASHINGTON TECHNOLOGY, US - May 9, 2006 ...test of the interoperability of vendors’ fingerprint minutiae templates...

Fingerprinting Failure Leaves Gaps in Screening System   MASON CITY GLOBE GAZETTE, IA - May 8, 2006 ...the failure to fingerprint hundreds of arrestees over the past two years could create a gap in the criminal-record system...

Recent CLPEX Posting Activity
Last Week's Board topics containing new posts
Moderated by Steve Everist

Processing Wood
II2None59 Sun May 14, 2006 6:05 am

Daubert Seminar in Las Vegas
Alice Maceo Fri May 12, 2006 8:35 pm

Parliamentary Inquiry in McKie case
sharon cook Thu May 11, 2006 9:51 pm

Anonymous Postings
opop Thu May 11, 2006 11:40 am

AFIS Questions
Charles Parker Wed May 10, 2006 10:46 am

The Science of Sherlock Holmes
Ernie Hamm Tue May 09, 2006 2:13 pm

Multiple User Names
Steve Everist Tue May 09, 2006 12:57 pm

Processing Fired Cartridge Casings
gherrera Tue May 09, 2006 12:08 pm

[ Poll ] McKie / Peter Swan
Curious Mon May 08, 2006 8:02 pm



From a Posting by Alice Maceo:
The American Board of Forensic Document Examiners
( is hosting another Daubert Seminar in Las Vegas this November. Please see the information below and visit their website for registration information and forms.

The Paradigm Shift in Forensic Sciences

November 9-10, 2006
Las Vegas, Nevada

Daubert is still here and continues to play a pivotal role in the world of expert opinion testimony. Various forensic sciences, such as Documents, Fingerprints, and Firearms/Toolmarks have not been immune to these challenges.

During a Daubert hearing, the trial judge serves as a “gatekeeper” and must determine whether the expected trial testimony has a reliable basis in the knowledge and experience of the relevant discipline. In assessing the reliability of an expert’s testimony, the court may consider the following:

* Whether the technique or methodology has been or can be tested

*Whether the technique or methodology has been subjected to peer review

* Known or potential error rates

* Existence of standards controlling the technique’s operation

* Extent to which the methodology or technique employed by the expert is generally accepted in the scientific community

The factors as laid out by the Daubert Court, although not intended to be a checklist, are routinely being utilized as such by the “gatekeeper”. The expert and the attorney must be prepared to present and discuss each factor. Failure to adequately address each of these may result in the exclusion of the expert’s testimony, or in the alternative, limiting the testimony of the expert at trial.

Recent court decisions have commented on the expert’s participation, or lack thereof, in proficiency testing. Experts from several fields, including the cognitive sciences, attorneys, experts in Documents, Latent Prints, and Firearms, and, Judge Domitrovich will discuss the court’s current focus on proficiency testing and error rates; and how these two issues can impact the forensic expert’s testimony.

The paradigm of the forensic sciences is the focus of this seminar. Ongoing cognitive science research, the courts interpretation of Daubert, and the steps each discipline has taken to address each of the Daubert factors will be discussed.

Speakers include:
Judge Stephanie Domitrovich (Erie County, PA)
Dr. Itiel Dror (England)
Dr. Thomas Busey (Indiana)
Dr. Bryan Found (Australia)
Mr. David R. Ausbaugh (Canada)
Ms. Lisa Steele, Esquire (Massachussetts)
Mr. Ronald Nichols (ATF, California)
Mr. Derek Hammond (Georgia)
Ms. Alice Maceo (Nevada)
Ms. Jan Seaman Kelly

The exclusive list of speakers will discuss numerous issues pertaining to forensic science and Daubert, to include the following:

Judicial Expectations in Daubert Hearings
What Do the Courts Want?: Individual Error Rates and Peer Review
How the Cognitive and Visual Sciences Might Help (and Hurt) in a Daubert Hearing
Friction Ridge Identification Science: Theory, Technique including Error Rates, Operational Standards: How to Meet the Daubert Standards
The Appellate Process
Firearms: How It Meets Daubert
Firearms Challenges
Error Rates in the Medical Community


Last week

Steve Everist brought us the second article in a series on Adobe Photoshop for latent print examinations.

This week

Joe Polski, COO of the IAI, brings us an update on Next Generation Identification System and AFIS interoperability through the 2006 Monthly Update:
FBI's Next Generation Identification System

The FBI has announced a name change for the new IAFIS system from Next Generation IAFIS to Next Generation Identification System. The NGI initials will remain the same but the new wording is meant to reflect the multi-modal aspects of NGI. There will be capabilities in the system for retinal scans, facial recognition, photos and palmprints so the connotation of NGI being strictly a fingerprint identification system is being changed to reflect these new dimensions. To be sure the mainstay of the system will remain fingerprint identification but these new identification biometrics are here to stay and will be incorporated into NGI.

At the recent IS Sub-committee meeting in San Antonio, a good deal of discussion ensued respecting how requests for fingerprint based inquires into IAFIS and CCH from non-criminal justice agencies within DHS should be handled. Immigrant checking, VISA processing centers and other branches within DHS are all critical aspects of Homeland Security yet fall outside the traditional framework of criminal justice. No final solution was arrived at but safe to say, this is an issue that is only going to become larger in the years to come and policies will need to be developed to deal with these genuine needs although they fall outside typical dissemination policies for CCH and IAFIS.

At that meeting, the FBI distributed a CD listing approximately 1,000 requested enhancements and changes to be incorporated into NGI as identified through the requirements analysis conducted by Intellidyne for the CJIS Division. I’m happy to report that it appears most of the changes requested by the IAI’s Latent Fingerprint Sub-Committee chaired by Laura Tierney have been included in the specifications. There were several issues respecting interoperability that were not given as high a priority as the we would desire so those will be discussed with the FBI to determine if the priority can be raised. Many long-standing latent search issues are addressed including an increased capacity for latent searches and a much-increased penetration of the database for those searches.

Yesterday I spoke with Scott Swann and Gary Barron from the FBI’s NGI Project regarding several requirements raised by the IAI. It is apparent there is a disconnected view between the FBI’s CJIS Division and the latent print community with respect to AFIS interoperability. The FBI’s position is that the Universal Latent Workstation (ULW) contains a complete interoperability solution for the latent fingerprint community and can act as an input and search terminal into any AFIS system of any manufacture. In many discussions with latent fingerprint examiners, that view is not shared. In response to this discussion, the FBI has agreed to prepare an AFIS interoperability paper to be run through the APB advisory group process. This is a very good compliment to the efforts being undertaken at NIJ (see below) to address this same issue. The two will come together at some future point in time.

AFIS Interoperability

As any of you who work with AFIS are keenly aware, interoperability of AFIS from different manufacturers has been a longstanding problem. Neighboring jurisdictions are often not able to check fingerprint records of each other if their AFIS are of different brands. This has been a problem since the first AFIS were introduced in the 1970’s and continues to be a problem today. Incidents such as the Malvo sniper case on the East Coast a couple of years ago highlight the consequences this lack of interoperability.

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has become involved in this project and Assistant Director John Morgan has begun a series of meetings to identify the issues and lay out a roadmap leading to interoperability. Obviously this will involve the user community, the vendors, the FBI and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) at a minimum. NIJ invited IAI Board Member Mike Campbell to Washington on May 1 to do an educational session about fingerprints and AFIS to NIJ staff. Mike brought with him a portable AFIS on which he demonstrated how AFIS works and some of the issues involved in interoperability. IAI President Joe Maberry, the IACP, the CFSO and the broader fingerprint community have all voiced their support for interoperability or said another way, “enter once, search many”.

Some agency needs to take the lead on solving this longstanding problem and from a public policy standpoint NIJ is in a position to take that leading role. Future plans call for a follow-up meeting at NIJ with the FBI, Peter Komarinski (Chair of the IAI’s AFIS Committee), representatives from NIST and several others. The matter is at the “problem identification” stage and will, hopefully, lead to a roadmap to solve the problem. This is a very, very important issue to IAI members and the forensics community in general and I’ll keep you updated with developments as they occur.


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Until next Monday morning, don't work too hard or too little.

Have a GREAT week!